Talking Ourselves Down

It’s Thursday, so I’m Crafting my Life! For 2011, I have ditched the themes and link-ups. Instead, I am just going to write what I’m thinking about this week. And if you would like to chime in and contribute a guest post about your own journey, please drop me a line and we’ll chat.

For the Crafting my Life course, I interviewed the fabulous Teresa Pitman. She’s a writer, who did freelance work from home as a single mother of four. She’s also the former executive director of LLL Canada, and co-author of the latest edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. And for all of those reasons and more, she’s one of my role models. Someone that I look to for inspiration when I feel overwhelmed by the chaos that is life with small children.

When I interviewed her, I asked her what it was like to hear me say that she was my role model. She replied that it was a little weird. And I can understand that. As much as I think that Teresa is pretty awesome, I doubt the paparazzi lie in wait at the end of her driveway just waiting to catch her in a compromising position. In her mind, she’s just herself.

We’re all this way, I think. I don’t particularly think of myself as someone to emulate. I have faults and flaws. I have moments where I fall far short of my own expectations of myself. I’m not always sure I’m the best mom I could be, or the best wife, or the best employee. And my dragons love to remind me of these things. The love to enumerate all of my petty failures and shortcomings and perceived weaknesses. And they love to tell me that I am not Enough. That I never, ever could be Enough. And that, I suspect, is the biggest lie of all.

I know that I am not the only one who experiences this. I think we all face a lot of self-doubt, and it leads us all to feel that we are somehow deficient. And then we reflect that in our interactions with the world. When someone offers us a compliment, we brush it off. When someone notices something we’ve done, we offer up fifteen ways that we’ve failed. We’ve learned well from our dragons, who knock us down again and again until we’re not able to see our own goodness, and we’re not able to hear about it from others, either.

It’s true that very few of us will reach stratospheric heights of achievement. Very few of us will become household names, or achieve unbelievable wealth, or have movies made about that time we founded Facebook. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not awesome in our own way. Because we are. Just as we are, we are Enough. We are worthwhile and deserving and all that good stuff. I believe that everyone is, in fact. Every flawed, imperfect one of us, dragging ourselves out of bed and living our lives the best way we know how.

I wonder how we would look at our lives differently if we stopped talking ourselves down so much. How would things change if we accepted a compliment, or recognized an achievement, instead of discounting ourselves? Would the world look different if we gave ourselves a pat on the back every time we did some task we hate, like washing the dishes? Would we feel better about ourselves if we actually listed everything we did in a 24 hour period and saw how much was there?

I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I think I’d like to find out. I’d like to stop telling myself all the ways I’m not awesome, and recognize some of the ways that I kind of rock. I’ve spent enough time believing I’m not Enough. Frankly, it’s gotten a little old. I’m ready for something new.

What about you? Do you discount your own accomplishments or brush off compliments? And would you like to change that? Or have you changed that? I’d love to hear from you!

PS – I’m going to be talking about Crafting my Life on the radio this Saturday, February 19. I will be a guest on Real Parenting which airs live from 10-11am in Victoria. If you can’t tune in, I’ll be sure to post the link to the show after it airs so that you can hear what I have to say!

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  1. I think my biggest repeated TRUTH is that I don’t have enough time, I will never get IT all done and I can’t do it anyway. I’m working to undo those thoughts.Thanks for saying I’m enough 🙂

  2. It took me a long time to be able to accept compliments and I still have to push myself to truly accept them and not brush them off.
    Mama in the City’s last post … Meet My New AssistantMy Profile

  3. I still offer up fifty ways that I’ve failed, and believe them all true.
    Francesca’s last post … Les BallerinesMy Profile

  4. A radio show appearance – so cool! That’s definitely a “More than Enough” moment.
    Lady M’s last post … It Can Never Be Said That This Child is Not DeterminedMy Profile

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